12-29-2009, 07:57 PM
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Near San Francisco
| | Re: Paint the background?
Test several backgrounds hanging things behind the tank and see what sort of look you like. If it is something that you can replicate in paint, then that may be the answer for you. It can be fairly permanent.
I have used fabric. I tended to go for dark background and subtle patterns so that the fish and plants stood out. A few that worked well were a marbled swirl of either blues or greens (two different fabrics) or a black fabric with scattered fern fronds. For me, brighter patterns did not look good.
Terry cloth towel. The texture does not reflect the light, so the background recedes. Black or dark green or dark blue work well.
Paper. Short lived when the water spills on it, but you can try several pure colors simply by taping different colors of construction paper behind the tank.
Scenery sold in fish stores. Look around. There are many companies that make them, and some look better than others. You can also DIY and make something like this, starting with a photograph or drawing. A printing company can blow it up, and print it on waterproof material.
Based on what I found worked for me I would (if I was to paint the tanks) go for the darker colors and blend several together by doing light passes with the spray paint. Somewhat paler colors higher up (perhaps a blend of blues and greens), darker colors lower down (a couple of shades of darker greens), and perhaps solid black or match the substrate on the lowest couple of inches. Then, once the 'design' part was complete (and dry) I would go over the whole thing with flat black to black out the 'behind the tank' mess of cords, tubes and the wall.
In actual fact I have not done this. I have left the back of the tanks open, and they are near windows to let in more light.